Tasting Freedom From Social Media

It’s the end of week 3 of BASKING- fully aware and reveling in the presence and goodness of God.  I’ve got some reflections from this semi-unplugged summer so far; as I have been intentionally staying  in the moment with Jesus and experiencing him more fully.  Let me start by saying, this has been something that has gone against my flesh at first.  As a new writer and blogger, you are supposed to be well connected and active with an audience if you want to advance and grow more followers.  It’s been very counter-culture to sign off and not think about how to grow popularity.

I’ve noticed things dying in me.  I know, that sounds really morbid.  But in the christian life, that is exactly what Jesus asks us to do.  Die to ourselves, life for him.  I feel so much more alive and free not always posting pictures and sharing moments with the world right as they happen.

I’m sharing moments intimately with God and with people in the flesh that I can touch and see.  

Life feels more sacred.  I’m not spending much time at all on my phone thinking about how to caption my life.  I’m just living it.

So what I’ve tasted this week can be summed up in one word: 

FREEDOM.  

The Lord has been faithfully showing me things taking his place and priorities that have been out of place.  He’s been separating the chaff from the wheat and blowing away some things that shouldn’t be there.  I’ m not sure how I will be using social media after this 5 week series is over.  I will have to keep seeking the Lord about that until I get a clearer answer.

One thing I can say is that this life with less social media tastes  fuller, more like the abundant life Jesus died to give us.

What we do see is Jesus, who was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone. Hebrews 2:9

My prayer for all of you and for myself is that we live with the taste of eternal life constantly on our tongue.  That we never quit craving the flavor of things that will last forever that Jesus has given us.  As we live fully in the moment, that we think about the moments that will never end in his manifest glory.

Lord Jesus, thank you for tasting death for us.  Please help us to to crown you with the glory and honor you deserve.  Help us to live with the TASTE of this gift of ETERNAL LIFE you have given us.  

Download the FREE BASKING DEVOTIONAL here: Basking

Are you tasting the Lord’s freedom in an area of your life? I want to hear about it! Comment below!

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How Social Media is Affecting Your Relationship With God

She woke, rolled over and grabbed her iPhone. After she checked the time and rubbed her eyes, she let out a big sigh and thought about the busy day ahead.  Then, she clicked on the blue square with a lower case f.  She saw how many likes she had from what she had shared the night before.  She scrolled through mindlessly for a minute.  Then her feet hit the floor with an empty feeling in her soul.

“Why did I just start my day like that?!” She thought.

She went to the coffee pot, then grabbed her bible and notebook for what she knew would make her empty soul feel good and satisfied instead- her Jesus.

Friends, the story above, has been my story some mornings.  Thankfully, I decided to do something about it.  I decided I had to live out my life verse:

But seek FIRST his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

I just won’t open any kind of social media until I’ve had time with God first.  Time to seek him first.  Time for him to remind me who he is, and who he says I am. Time for me to ask him for the blessings only he can give. Time for me to hear him remind me of the good work he has for me to do in the day ahead.  And I usually (actually never) hear him include:

“Spend time scrolling through your social media mindlessly.”

Trust me friends, I know we need mindless, chill time.  I don’t think anyone can run long and far for God without sitting back and relaxing.  Us mamas know at the end of the day, we have hardly any brain functioning left.  We need an escape.  We need to connect with the outside world, to get good ideas for recipes and outfits.  To see the cute babies our friends from college have had.  Yes, yes, yes.  Social media is not ALL bad.

But we need to check our social media surfing and ask ourselves some questions about how it is affecting our most important relationship, our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

How is social media affecting my relationship with God?  

  1. Am I SEEKING GOD FIRST with my heart, my days, my time and energy while still being connected to social media?
  2. Am I finding my IDENTITY and VALIDATION in who I am in Christ or in my popularity on social media?
  3. Am I ABIDING in Christ and BEING PRESENT with him and with the people he has placed in my life or am I letting social media steal my attention from him and them?

We’ve already hit on the number one, so let’s start with number two.  And let’s just be real.  You have looked at your post to see how many likes it has.  You have looked at your profile to see how many followers you have.  You have even gone to another person’s profile to see how many followers she has compared to you.  Sometimes this makes you feel good. (Which is silly and prideful). And sometimes this makes you feel small, and not important. (Which is a lie).  This has to stop.

As children of God, we CANNOT find ANY IDENTITY in our popularity online. 

This is grieving the heart of God.  He is watching us thinking, my child, I created you fearfully and wonderfully, I sent my son to die for you, I have adopted you as my own through him, and given you every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm, and yet you look on social media to see what people who don’t even really know you think about what you have posted?  Ouch.  That thought hurts, but in a good way, right?  Isn’t it fantastic that who were are in Christ is what really matters?

Let’s not let this cycle steal our blood bought identity and worth any longer.

“Daughter.  Put the phone down, and listen.  I’ve given you all you need right here.”

 ~Hear him, and step away.  

~Sign off and look up.  

Which bring us to our next topic: Abiding (being present) with God and the people around you; instead of being on social media.  God has promised he will never leave us.  He has sent his Holy Spirit to dwell in the hearts of those who have trusted in his Son.  How can we converse with God, and the people around us if our eyes are on our phones and devices?  The answer is we can’t!  Someone is getting ignored.  Please, let’s make it stop.  (Preaching to myself here, too).

So how can we stay on social media and keep walking closer to God?

1)Be disciplined about it.  

 

So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

We need guidelines and limitations. Here are some ideas:

Time restrictions:  Only get on certain times of the day, like after you spend time with God, or just at night to check one time a day to stay connected but not obsessed.  Also, you may want to set a time limit for when you do get on, so you don’t look up and realize you’ve wasted an hour while your dishes are still piled up in the sink waiting for you.

Reasons to get on: Checking to see how popular your posts are should not be one of them! That is self-centered and makes us have that false sense of worth we talked about earlier as children of God.  But there are good reasons to get on.  You know what they are for you, so just ask yourself, “What’s my good purpose to get on social media right now?”  Don’t let it be a rote, routine habit to click on the app because you have a free second.

Log out or take apps off your phone: Train your fingers not to click where they’re used to clicking.  Either delete it off your phone, or sign out of your apps until the time you have decided you will get on daily.  Then log back out.

2)Run

 If you need a detox from social media, step away for a while.

“Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.” 2Timothy 2:22

3)Accountability

Tell someone how you are trying to change your online habits.  Choose someone with the same heart for the Lord that you have, and explain to them how you are doing this for a closer walk with God and to grow in who you are in him.

Finally, we all know to change behavior, a new behavior has to replace it and take it’s place.  Use the time and energy you used to spend on your devices on social media to seek God instead; to grow in the truth about who He really is and who you really are as his child.  Get the bible app on your phone and find a great devotional to click on when you have free seconds.

Be present in the moment that you are in, with God and with those around you.  Live life to the fullest, like he intended you to, right where your feet are planted; instead of where your fingers are scrolling.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 ~Jesus

Here’s a free tool below to help you refocus this summer.  There is a commitment at the beginning of this devotional to change your social media habits.

Download Here>>>Basking<<<

Unplug and plug in to Him!

~Amy~

Basking Devotional

Are you yearning for an unplugged summer?  Do you miss the days when you didn’t scroll through a screen when you had a few free seconds?

Maybe you haven’t fallen into the trap of “default scrolling.” Good job! I bet you are super annoyed when people around you have their eyes glued to their phones, half paying attention to the conversation.

My daughter recently told me I ignore her. Ouch.  Me, ignoring you?!? I thought, “I homeschool you girlfriend, I am with you all the time.  And sweetie, you talk a lot! I am doing the best I can, but sometimes I get fried mommy brain.”  But I’m not doing the best I can.  I can do better.

I can’t help but wonder how God is thinking the same thing as we ignore his presence.  He’s always here with us.  But we are distracted.  We are half in conversation with Him, if in any conversation at all.  His glory is all around us, reminding us of his existence and his power.   He gave us amazing bodies with senses to experience him and his creation.  But are we looking for him? Are we listening to his voice?

In my post last week,  (below) I described my “basking” moment last summer when I was overcome with his presence.  Reflecting on this experience stirred a desire to pursue a greater awareness of God this summer, everyday.  And so I give you, below, a 5 week devotional to join me in this commitment to sign off and look up.

As you will see in the devotional, there are different options for signing off.  You may choose to stay connected for good reason, with time limits, etc.  This is what I will be doing to post about the study.  But default scrolling–>see ya later!

I’ll be posting on Instagram Facebook, and Twitter Monday-Friday and blogging here at least once a week.

Help me spread the word this week!  Next Sunday right here, I will post about SEEING the goodness of God as the start the study MONDAY MAY 30th!

Click below to download FREE summer devotional >>>

Download Basking Devotional <<<

Basking in His Presence

When was the last time you got goose bumps from the realization of the steadfast presence of God in your midst? Was it lately? Or so long ago, you had to stop and think?

Summer is my FAVORITE season.  June is my FAVORITE month.  I have so many amazing God moments that happened in the summers of my life.  Before I had kids, I was an elementary school special ed teacher.  And all summer long, I sat out by the pool in my backyard and BASKED in the sun.  (Don’t get too jealous, I don’t have a pool anymore.)  But I do plan on basking beside one most of the summer!

Are you a summer girl too?  I just cannot get enough of it.  Popsicles, back porch dinners, sundresses, flip flops…I could go on and on.

Last summer I had a “basking” in Jesus’s presence moment on a sunny beach in North Carolina. I had been seeking God about a decision I needed to make very soon but I had not received a clear answer. I had called all my closest family and friends and sought their advice, but I was still feeling conflicted.

I laid on the beach, quiet and still. I heard the God-made rhythm of the waves roll in and out. I felt the warmth of the sun on my skin, the gentle, steady breeze, the gritty sand beneath my toes. I smelt and tasted the salt and sweat. I was fully aware of the setting around me. But yet, as I became so very still, I was fully aware of the presence of Jesus. So very aware, that I felt as though he was sitting right beside me.

We know from his word that this is always the case. He has promised many places in scripture that he would always be with us.

“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

But are we really walking around daily being sure of his presence? I know I haven’t been. But I know I am ready to. I’m ready to put down my phone and be fully engaged in my surroundings, seeing the evidence of God all around me.  God talked about this in his word:

“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” Romans 1:20

His handiwork and his wonder are all around us. His love can be seen, heard, tasted, smelt, and felt at any given moment.

The problem is, we are distracted. Distracted by the flood of information on our phones, our minds racing to the future, and just a plain numbness that robs us of worshipping the one true God who is all around us.

I’m ready to not just have “quiet times” in the mornings, but to form a practice of being still during my days. I want to soak him in and document where I’ve noticed his glory, which is all around us.  I’m ready to BASK in the presence of God.

To Bask: revel in and make the most of (something pleasing).

I would love for you to join us here at Refocused Bible Study this summer as we BASK in God’s presence, reveling (taking intense pleasure and satisfaction)  in Him where He has planted our feet for this summer season!!!

Free downloadable devotional journal will be here next week! Don’t miss it!

The journal starts the first official day of summer, Memorial, May 30th!

Spread the Word! Grab some friends. This one is not life season specific, right for everyone. Even the littles! 🙂